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Gbegiri Soup – Delicious West African Bean Soup

Gbegiri – A hearty, flavorful, and nutritious soup bean soup. This recipe is perfect for those who love African cuisine or want to try something new. Let’s go to the southwestern part of Nigeria! 

What is Gbegiri?

Gbegiri is a traditional soup from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. It is made from black-eyed peas or honey beans (brown beans), ground crayfish, palm oil, stock, irú (locust beans), salt, and cayenne pepper. It is tasty, flavorful, and unique.

The Yoruba people hold Gbegiri dear to their hearts, and it plays a prominent role in traditional celebrations and ceremonies, whether a wedding or a local festival.

This soup is often served alongside traditional dishes like amala (a starchy Nigerian food made from yam flour), ewedu ( a delicious soup made from jute leaves), tuwo, Fufu, or Iyan. These accompaniments perfectly balance the rich and savory flavors of Gbegiri, creating a satisfying and well-rounded meal.

How is Gbegiri made?

It is typically made by peeling and cooking beans or black-eyed peas in water. The cooked beans are then blended to achieve a smooth, creamy texture and seasoned with crayfish powder, stock cube, and salt to taste.

The light orange color that emerges brightens the Amala and ewedu soup which it is usually paired with. Gbegiri does not take too much time to make, especially if the beans or black-eyed peas have been soaked ahead. 

Whether you are an experienced cook or just starting, the Gbegiri soup recipe is one that you must try.

Gbegiri soup served with tuwo rice.

Ingredients used in making Gbegiri

  • Black-eyed peas (or honey beans): This is the star of the dish
  • Onion: brings a unique flavor to the dish
  • Water: used for cooking the beans
  • Palm oil: adds to that bright, orange color Gbegiri has
  • Crayfish Powder: to give Gbegiri soup flavor 
  • Ground locust beans: to add in flavor and texture
  • Stock Cube to taste
  • Salt to taste 

How to make Gbegiri

  • Soak black-eyed peas for 10-15 mins to soften, peel them by rubbing between palms and rinsing in cold water. 
  • Cook with onions and water for 25 minutes in the instant pot or 1 to 1 hr 15 minutes on the stovetop. Then blend for a smooth texture. 
  • Return to pot with seasonings, simmer for 3-5 mins, and adjust seasoning and consistency. 
  • Serve hot with tuwo rice or Amala and ewedu.

How to make Gbegiri with a Pressure Pot or Instant Pot 

All you have to do is to place the peeled beans into a pressure cooker or instant pot. Then, add the diced onions and 4 cups of water; seal, then cook on high for 25 minutes. 

Using a pressure cooker method to cook the beans simplifies the process by cutting down the cooking time significantly, making it an efficient way to prepare Gbegiri soup.

How to Peel Beans with a food processor

Instead of rubbing the beans in your palms to peel the beans, place the soaked beans in a food processor and pulse 15 to 20 times until all the skin has been removed. The process is faster and easier this way. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is gbegiri made of?

Gbegiri soup is made from black-eyed peas, brown beans, or honey beans peeled cooked. Palm oil, stock cube, and water are also used in making Gbegiri soup. You can add in optional ingredients such as Crayfish powder and ground locust beans to elevate the taste of your gbegiri soup.

What is the English name for gbegiri?

The best English name for gbegiri is Beans Soup. This is because it is made from beans or black-eyed peas. Gbegiri soup is a delicious and healthy meal that is easy-to-prepare and a must-try for anyone looking to explore Nigerian cuisine.

What do you eat with Gbegiri?

The usual pairing with Gbegiri is Amala and Ewedu for the Yoruba tribe, while the hausa tribe pairs it with tuwo rice. They just go wonderfully well and taste amazing. Pairing gbegiri with other swallows of choice also works.

What are the health benefits of gbegiri?

Gbegiri soup offers a number of health benefits and adds flavor to the Nigerian cuisine. Gbegiri soup is a good source of protein and other essential micronutrients such as iron, potassium, and vitamins B1 and B6. It has high fiber content that will improve your digestive health. It has low fat and low sugar content. This makes Gbegiri an ideal dish for vegetarians and those seeking a balanced diet.

Can I make Gbegiri ahead? 

Just like other Nigerian soups/stews such as Nigerian Chicken Stew, Ogbono Soup, Nigerian Beef Stew, Egusi soup; preparing ahead can be very useful when making Gbegiri soup, especially when you have parties or ceremonial events. You can make it up to three days in advance and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. 

To do this, prepare the soup as you normally would, and allow it to cool down to room temperature. Afterwards, transfer the soup into an airtight container and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. Reheat the soup on low heat when you’re ready to eat, stirring regularly to prevent any sticking. This method ensures that you have a delicious and hot Gbegiri soup whenever you desire it.

Gbegiri soup served in a bowl and garnished with herbs.

Storage and Reheating Tips 

How do I store Gbegiri soup?

To store Gbegiri soup, allow it to cool down to room temperature and transfer it to an airtight container. You can refrigerate the soup for at most three days. When ready to reheat, place it on the stove over low heat and stir occasionally to prevent sticking. 

If you’re looking to store your Gbegiri soup for longer than a few days, you can freeze it for up to three months. However, keep in mind that the texture may change a bit after thawing. To prevent freezer burn, be sure to use a container that’s safe for freezing. 

How to reheat frozen Gbegiri soup

When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen Gbegiri soup, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on low heat on the stove, stirring occasionally. With this method, your soup will still be tasty and piping hot when it’s time to serve. 

That’s it, friends! I can’t wait for you to try Gbegiri when next you plan to enjoy Nigerian cuisine, especially with Amala and Ewedu. I hope you enjoy the burst of flavors and the most amazing creamy texture of Gbegiri soup in your mouth. 

Other Nigerian recipes you’d love and enjoy

Gbegiri soup served in a bowl and garnished with herbs.

Gbegiri Soup

Gbegiri is a delicious West African soup enjoyed mostly by the Yoruba people. This recipe serves 6 to 8 people and is perfect for those who love African cuisine or want to try something new. Let's go to the southwestern part of Nigeria!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: African
Keyword: Beans soup, Black eyed peas soup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Soaking time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 103.9kcal

Ingredients

  • cups black-eyed peas or honey beans
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 4-6 cups water
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons palm oil
  • 2 tablespoons crayfish ground
  • 1 tablespoon locust beans Iru or Dawadawa – optional
  • 1 stock cube Maggi, Knorr, or any preferred seasoning
  • Salt to taste‌

Instructions

  • Soak the black-eyed peas in water for 10 to 15 minutes. This will help to soften the beans, making them easier to cook and peel.
  • After soaking, drain the water, and gently rub the beans between your palms to peel off the skins. Rinse the beans in cold water to remove the skins, repeating this process until most of the skins have been removed.
  • In a large pot, combine the peeled beans, diced onions, and water. Cook the beans over medium heat for 1 hour or until they become tender. Make sure to keep an eye on the water level and add more if needed to prevent the beans from burning.
  • Once the beans are cooked, blend them with a hand blender or immersion blender until you achieve a smooth, creamy texture. You can also blend the beans in a high-speed blender.
  • Return the puree to the pot, the crayfish powder, ground locust beans (if using), stock cube, and salt to taste. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Simmer the gbegiri soup over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened to your desired preference, stirring occasionally to prevent the soup from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with more salt or stock cubes if necessary. If the soup is too thick, you can add some chicken or vegetable broth to achieve your desired consistency.
  • Serve the gbegiri soup hot. It can be eaten alone or accompanied by tuwo rice, amala and ewedu.

Pressure pot or instant pot version

  • Place the peeled beans into a pressure cooker or instant pot. Add the diced onions and 4 cups water; seal, then cook on high for 25 minutes

Peeling with a food processor

  • Place the soaked beans in a food processor and pulse 15 to 20 times until all the skin has been removed.

Nutrition

Calories: 103.9kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.7g | Protein: 4.5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1.8g | Cholesterol: 6.8mg | Sodium: 175.1mg | Potassium: 160.7mg | Fiber: 3.1g | Sugar: 2.3g | Vitamin A: 9.3IU | Vitamin C: 1.6mg | Calcium: 22.2mg | Iron: 1.2mg

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